PepTalk 2017
PepTalk 2017


Paul J. Carter, Ph. D., Senior Director and Staff Scientist, Department of Antibody Engineering, Genentech, Inc.
Dr. Carter has over 25 years of experience in biotechnology: Genentech (1986-2000 and 2010-present), Immunex/Amgen (2000-2003), Seattle Genetics (2003-2008) and VLST (2008-2009).

Dr. Carter’s accomplishments in drug development include initiating the antibody humanization program at Genentech and co-inventing Herceptin®, a humanized antibody approved by the FDA for the treatment of HER2-overexpressing breast and gastric cancers. He is also a co-inventor of 3 other antibodies that have reached at least early stage clinical development. Beyond antibody therapeutics Dr. Carter’s inventions include technologies for high level antibody fragment expression, protein heteromultimerization using “knobs-into-holes” and “substrate-assisted catalysis”. He is an inventor or co-inventor on at least 27 issued US patents.

Dr. Carter has authored or co-authored 96 scientific publications that together have been cited >7,000 times. Dr. Carter has co-organized 9 international meetings on antibody engineering and antibody therapeutics. He has delivered over 90 conference presentations and invited lectures including keynote presentations. His professional experience includes heading the postdoctoral programs at Genentech (1998-2000), Immunex (2001-2002) and Amgen (2002-2003).

Dr. Carter received a B.A. in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in 1982. He obtained a Ph.D. in 1986 under Sir Gregory Winter, Ph.D., F.R.S. at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. From 1986-1989 Dr. Carter was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. James A. Wells at Genentech.

Vaughn Smider, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology, Scripps Research Institute; Founder, Fabrus LLC
Our laboratory has extensive experience in antibody engineering, and in particular in creating antibodies containing unnatural amino acids (UAAs). We have developed substantial expertise in antibody expression with unnatural amino acids, antibody discovery and molecular evolution using phage display using UAAs, and generation of multivalent proteins and immunoconjugates through UAA mediated chemistry. As leaders in this field we are well suited to carry out the proposed research on “oligobodies”. We also have substantial contact and collaboration with industry which could allow manufacturing and distribution of antibody reagents to the research community.
Dr. Smider received his doctorate in Immunology in 1992 from Stanford University, and his medical degree in 2002 from Stanford University School of Medicine.

Michael Feldhaus, PhD., Executive Vice President of Research, Adimab, LLC 
Michael Feldhaus is Executive Vice President of Research at Adimab, LLC where he has been instrumental in the development of Adimab’s integrated antibody discovery and optimization platform.  Previously, Michael was Director of Protein Engineering at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals where his team contributed to the discovery and development of the first anti-Her3 mAb in and developed  a novel albumin fusion scFv bispecific therapeutic both currently in clinical trials.  Prior to his work at Merrimack, Michael was a lead researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where he developed scFv and Fab discovery and optimization platforms.  Michael received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Experimental Pathology. 

Richard Wagner, Ph.D., Founder & CSO, R & D, X-BODY BioSciences
Prior to founding X-BODY, he was Executive Vice President of Research at Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was an inventor of the DirectSelect small molecule screening technology that led to the creation of a ten billion compound screening library. Praecis was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007. Prior to joining Praecis, Dr. Wagner co-founded Phylos in 1997 and served as Senior Vice President of Research. At Phylos he was an inventor of a novel class of antibody mimetics which was ultimately acquired by Bristol Myers. Earlier, Dr. Wagner was a founding Director of Cell Biology and a member of the management team at Gilead Sciences, Inc.

John Desjarlais, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, Xencor, Inc.
Dr. Desjarlais is the Vice President of Research at Xencor, Inc.  Since joining Xencor in 2001, Dr. Desjarlais has overseen the company’s engineering work on antibodies and other proteins.  With his coworkers, Dr. Desjarlais has developed several novel technologies for the optimization of antibodies and other proteins.  In his current role as Head of Research, Dr. Desjarlais manages all of Xencor’s research activities, from project conception and candidate generation through preclinical proof of concept.  Prior to Xencor, Dr. Desjarlais was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University (1997-2001), where he developed and tested methods for the de novo design of protein sequences.  He began his work in the field of protein design as a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow at U.C. Berkeley.  Dr. Desjarlais holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Steffen Goletz, Ph.D., CEO, Glycotope GmbH
Steffen Goletz, CEO, CSO and co-founder of Glycotope, studied Biology, biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Universities in Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern, Manchester (UK) and Berlin and holds a PhD in Biochemistry. During his scientific career he worked for renowned research institutions including the Max Delbrueck Centre for Molecular Medicine (Berlin), the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering (Cambridge, UK), and the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg. During his research, Steffen has focused on Glycobiology, Tumor Immunology, Antibody Engineering and Cellular Engineering. As CSO, Steffen is responsible for the development of Glycotope’s product pipeline of glyco-optimised biotherapeutics with four products currently in clinical trials.

Philippe Stas, MBA, Head of Applied Protein Services, Lonza AG 
Philippe Stas has been active at the interface of information technology, protein engineering, and bioinformatics for almost two decades. From 1990 to 1997, he attended the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) where he conducted applied research for projects involving antibody engineering and bioinformatics. After working as IT Manager at Perkin-Elmer's Genscope subsidiary (currently Applied Biosystems, CA, USA), he helped found Algonomics in 1999, where he was for 8 years in charge of operations and business development, and served as CEO since 2007. Since the acquisition of Algonomics by Lonza AG in 2009, Philippe heads Lonza’s Applied Protein Services team in Cambridge, UK.
Philippe Stas holds an MBA, a M.Sc.Eng. in biotechnology and a M.Sc. in Information Technology.
Philippe serves as the President of the European Immunogenicity Platform ( He is the author of several review papers on Immunogenicity.

Nicolas Fischer, Ph.D., Head, Research Department, NovImmune SA
Nicolas Fischer, PhD Head, Research Department NovImmune SA. Nicolas Fischer earned a PhD in Biology from the Department of Molecular Biology University of Geneva studying the structure and function of Photosynthetic Complexes. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the Group of Dr Greg Winter at the MRC Department of Molecular Biology in Cambridge UK to study Protein Folding and Antibody Engineering using phage display. In 2001 he joined NovImmune and is now heading the Research Department.

Samuel Flores, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University
I write easy to use multiresolution modeling software which helps predict how large biological molecules form and move. I and my collaborators have applied it to lots of problems, such as group I and group II intron structure, ribosome hybridization, and telomerase elongation. I’m also working on antibody design and other viral applications. Currently I’m extending my software, MMB, to handle huge complexes even more efficiently. A new feature called “physics where you want it” will let you apply a physics-based force field to a restricted region of your complex, e.g. an active site or interface, while treating the rest with coarser forces and kinematics. MMB will also start reading electron densities and other experimental data, expanding the types of constraints that can be used for modeling.

Yulia Vugmeyster, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Drug Safety & Metabolism, Pfizer Research Labs
Dr. Vugmeyster is a Senior Principal Scientist at the Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism of Pfizer conducting PK-PD and ADME assessments of therapeutic proteins and small molecule drugs. Prior to joining Pfizer, she has worked at Wyeth and Genentech and Harvard Medical School. She has many publications and presentations in the field of ADME and PK/PD of therapeutic proteins. Yulia Vugmeyster received a BS degree in Biochemistry from Brandeis University and a PhD in Immunology from MIT.

Julian K.C. Ma, Ph.D., Professor, Hotung Chair, Molecular Immunology, Joint Head, Infection and Immunity Research Centre, St. Georges Hospital Medical Center
Julian Ma holds the Hotung Chair for Molecular Immunology at St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London. He also holds an honorary Hospital Consultant appointment in Oral Medicine at King’s College London. He graduated in dentistry at Guy's Hospital in 1983, and went on there to gain his PhD in Immunology, studying topical anti-microbial immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies. He was a post-doctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, in Dr. Andrew Hiatt's laboratory which pioneered the expression of recombinant antibodies in transgenic plants. On his return to the UK, his research group developed the first description of a monoclonal secretory antibody expressed in plants and its clinical applications in human immunotherapy against dental caries.
His research group studies basic mechanisms of protein assembly, processing and expression in plant cells, as well as the design, engineering and clinical applications of novel recombinant proteins in plants for systemic and mucosal vaccination and immunotherapy. Julian Ma is a leading proponent in Europe for the development of plant biotechnology for medicines for human health. He was the Scientific Co-ordinator of “Pharma-Planta” a European Union Integrated Project that supported 39 European laboratories over 7 years, to develop recombinant proteins from plants as pharmaceuticals.

Mitchell Ho, Ph.D., Investigator and Head, Antibody Therapy Unit, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, NIH
Dr. Mitchell Ho is an Investigator and Head of the Antibody Therapy Unit in NCI's Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Dr. Ho obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a National Research Service Award fellow, he studied monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cocaine addiction. He received his postdoctoral training in immunotoxin-based cancer therapy with Dr. Ira Pastan at the NIH. Dr. Ho is a recipient of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Individual Investigator Award and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Grant Award. In 2011, Dr. Ho received the NCI Director's Intramural Innovation Award for Principal Investigators.

Sergej Kiprijanov, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Pre-Clinical Development, Affitech Research AS
Dr. Sergej Kiprijanov graduated in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Novosibirsk State University (Novosibirsk, Russia) and received his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms (Moscow, Russia). He then carried out his postdoctoral research at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg (Germany), where he played a key role in design and generation of the novel bispecific antibody formats useful for tumor therapy. In 2000-2006, he has been a Head of Antibody Engineering and then a Head of Research and Development at Affimed Therapeutics in Heidelberg (Germany) focusing on engineering bispecific antibodies for cancer indications. Afterwards, Dr. Kiprijanov has served as Chief Scientific Officer at Novoplant (Gatersleben, Germany), a German plant biotech company developing antibodies for oral applications. In 2008, he joined Affitech AS (Oslo, Norway) as Vice President of Research and Preclinical Development, dealing with generation of fully human therapeutic antibodies. Dr. Kiprijanov has authored more than 70 research articles, reviews and book chapters and is named as an inventor on 20 patents and patent applications.

Tony Cano, Ph.D., Senior Engineer, Process Research and Development, Genentech, Inc.
Tony Cano received his B.E. in Chemical Engineering cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1999, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Houston in 2004. His doctoral research was in the field of competitive protein adsorption and nucleic acid separations. Since joining Genentech in 2005, Tony has been involved in the process development and validation of several clinical and commercial biopharmaceutical processes as well as the development of QbD strategies for biopharmaceutical processes. He has also assisted in technology transfers of large-scale commercial antibody processes. Tony is currently leading the downstream recovery team for a late Phase III clinical monoclonal antibody.